Addison’s Disease Treatment: How to Manage This Lifelong Illness

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  • There is no cure for Addison’s disease — it is a lifelong condition that you will need to monitor every day. However, there are ways to manage this illness to prevent it from causing further harm, and that will allow patients to live an almost normal life
  • Remember that the symptoms of Addison’s disease are greatly rooted into stress. Hence, patients must learn to control their response to stress to avoid the disease from worsening

There is no cure for Addison's disease — it is a lifelong condition that you will need to monitor every day. However, there are ways to manage this illness to prevent it from causing further harm, and that will allow patients to live an almost normal life.

Conventional Treatment Usually Involves Steroid Hormones

Because people with Addison's disease cannot produce their own supply of hormones, they must rely on oral supplementation to make sure that their body has adequate levels to function normally. These include:

Hydrocortisone — A steroid hormone, this is prescribed to be taken once or twice (sometimes three times) a day to replace cortisol. This is also known as oral synthetic glucocorticoid.1

The dose of hydrocortisone that a patient must take usually needs to be increased during times of stress and sickness. Some patients need to take more, especially when they are suffering from an illness like strep throat or stomach flu, or if they are hospitalized or required to undergo surgery. In some cases, intravenous replacement is advised.2

Fludrocortisone acetate — Used to replace aldosterone, this is an oral mineralcorticoid3 that's taken once a day. In some cases, your doctor may advise you to increase your salt intake, but if you're taking fludrocortisone, then this may unnecessary. Nevertheless, if your body craves salt, then you should get more of it from your diet.

While these medications may not have side effects, remember that there are still important precautions before taking them. Avoid excessively high doses, and stick to the recommended dose and schedule provided by your physician. He or she will also monitor your progress and your symptoms, making sure the dosage is just right for your condition, and then adjusting it accordingly.

Failure to comply within the advisable levels may lead to health problems, such as insomnia or sleeping difficulty, weak bones or osteoporosis and mood swings.4,5 In addition, too much glucocorticoid can lead to weight gain and may even put you at risk of diabetes.6

There Are Also Holistic Remedies You Can Utilize

You may also try herbal remedies that may be helpful to people with Addison's disease. However, make sure to inform your physician before reaching for these holistic treatments, to know what the potential effects may be on your well-being.7

Green teaIt may help regulate hormones and ensure that the body's metabolism is properly working. Green tea can also promote immune system health, bolstering the body against autoimmune attacks.

Reishi mushroom and turmericThese are known for boosting the immune system and increasing hormone production.

Herbs like milk thistle, astragalus and Echinacea — When ingested, they can provide protection against Addison's disease's effects with their hormone-boosting and immune-promoting abilities.

Ginger You can use ginger to soothe the symptoms of this condition. Aside from its calming properties, ginger also soothes intestinal discomfort, relieves nausea and stimulates bowel movement. Consume it raw or in tea form.

Borago and ginseng — These herbs are known for supporting the immune system, thus helping prevent autoimmune attacks on the adrenal glands.

Ashwagandha extract is also said to have an effect on Addison's disease, as it helps stimulate the nervous system, bolsters the body's stress response and may even help address low cortisol levels.8

Try Effective Stress Relief Techniques as Well

Remember that the symptoms of Addison's disease are greatly rooted into stress. Hence, patients must learn to control their response to stress to avoid the disease from worsening.

Meditation and prayer, breathing techniques Tai Chi and yoga are some helpful ways to ease stress, as well as to maintain hormone balance in your body and bring better mental health and stability.9,10 The Emotional Freedom Techniques, a psychological acupressure technique, is another useful tool for relieving stress.

MORE ABOUT ADDISON'S DISEASE

Addison's Disease: Introduction

What Is Addison's Disease?

Addison's Disease Symptoms

Addison's Disease Causes

Addison's Disease in Children

Addison's Disease Test

Addison's Disease Treatment

Addison's Disease Prevention

Addison's Disease Diet

Addison's Disease FAQ



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